Thursday, September 20, 2012

Race Recap: Air Force Marathon

WARNING SUPER LONG POST

That. was. so. hard.  I have never had such a sucky race.  Granted, that was only the second time I've ran a marathon, but that was more difficult than anything I have ever done.  Childbirth was easier. 

Let's backtrack:  2 weeks before the marathon, I got a lovely cold.  A week later, the cold turns into a cough.  I head to the Dr and get a zpac and Hydrocodone for my cough.  I've never really taken anything stronger than Aleve, so little did I know that I'd have such a horrible reaction to Hydrocodone.  I had a terrible headache, nauseous, and light headed for about 36 hours until that stuff got out of my system.  I have never been so sick- I couldn't get out of bed, except to run the bathroom to throw up.  Yuck.  I missed basically one week of working out- even though it was taper time.

Last week, I was feeling much better, still a bit of a cough but nothing major.  I was really hoping it would be out of my system by race day.

Expo:  I went with a friend of mine from work who is just starting out running.  It was fun to help her out and guide her through the expo.  She got a great deal on a pair of "real" running shoes (as she put it).  I could see her excitement building...no doubts next year she'll be running one of the races.

Needed this for Spinning class
I managed to hold on to most of my money!  Success! I only got 2  shirts  from the "one more mile" store.  My new favorite t-shirt says:

FRONT: You know you're a runner when...
BACK:
  • You can recite the dialogue from chariots of fire.
  • Your vacations are planned around marathons.
  • You lube up to get into your clothes to prevent chafing.
  • Your friends don't call you anymore to go out on Saturday nights.
  • The majority of t-shirts in your closet have sponsors and race dates on them.
  • You consider gels a food group.
  • You consider a half marathon a good "training" run.
  • You can say fartlek without laughing.
  • You buy advil and Epsom salts in bulk.
  • You can correctly spell plantar fasciitis.
Ready to go! High vis outfit.
Race Day:

Carrie and I got there with plenty of time to spare.  We had time to kill in the car so we managed to get on all of our silly bands.  One of co-workers gave us this idea...take one off each mile.  I have to say, it worked.  There was something nice about flinging one off every mile.  We kept the last one though...

heading towards the start of the race
Finally headed over to the start line, there were tons of people walking around the Air Force museum in the dark/first rays of dawn.  There was a nice mist on the ground which made for a surreal setting walking past all of the static display planes on the runway outside the museum.  
As the sun came up, the energy around the start line grew.  It was fun to see all the people in all shapes and sizes ready to run the marathon or 10k (which started at the same time).  Eventually, after the opening ceremonies the B-2 flew over!  Wow!  It went right over head and it was just incredible to see it in person.  I took a recording of it on my phone but I must of deleted it some how...grrr since it wasn't there later.  Finally the canon went off-scared the crap out of me BTW and we were off.

The gory details (as much as I can remember!)
Mile 1-We had planted ourselves in between the 4:15 and 4:30 pace groups so we were with people running our pace which was nice difference from shorter races where you have to jockey for position.  We passed a group of ROTC guys (and girl) from University of Dayton running in full gear- I really hope they were running the 10k!  Totally impressive none the less!

Mile 5 and I was feeling good!
Miles 2-8 were uneventful.  Felt pretty good, quads were a bit sore, nothing I thought I needed to worry about.  DH, kiddos and my mom were at mile 5 with their cowbells. I loved the Alien themed water stop around mile 8 or 9. 

Feeling pretty good around mile 10!
Miles 9-10 were awesome!  The City of Fairborn and the Mile 10 group made it a fantastic oasis of energy.  Saw my dh and kiddos again! 

Miles 11-20 are where the wheels fell off for me.  Once we passed the craziness of Mile 10 and we were back on WPAFB it was just us.  Time to think about everything... everything that was starting to get sore.  It started with my toes, my darn callouses which sometimes hurt when running were screaming at me, and my quads were feeling tired and heavy....then it just kept getting harder and harder.  Carrie seemed to keep speeding up, but in reality I was slowing down. By mile 13 we decided to walk through the water stops so we/I could get more energy to slog through it.  Also, I kept trying to drink Gatorade and eat my Cliff Blox.  Carrie could go at my slower pace, since her legs would cramp up going so slow, so she'd run ahead then stop and wait for me. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Carrie, I swear I was in some fog/zone  of pain).
I wanted to crawl by this time, mile 22.
Darn Garmin- it was paused not stopped at finish so it took a walk back to the car, and brief drive before I stopped it

Miles 22-26.2- I actually felt a bit better once we could see the 1/2 marathoners on another part of the course, somehow, just seeing a bunch of walkers (the end of the 1/2 marathoners) lit a bit of fire under me, I wanted to crawl, but I knew I could beat some of them.  I stopped walking through parts and just kept shuffling, afraid if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start up again.  By mile 25, I was getting really annoyed and tired of the half marathoners, since they were walking and I had to zigzag around them- I didn't want to run any more than I had to at that point!   I was so excited to see the AF museum again and the looooooonnnnggggg straightway- that I swear was at least a mile- but really more like 300 meters, but once we turned the corner and had a straight shot of the finish line and got to run by all the air planes on display it was worth it.  We finished together in 4 hrs 37 mins and 25 sec.
Waiting for DH after the race.

I felt out of it/kind of sick afterwards, I just wanted shade (none around!) and salty pretzels.  I only got water, gatorade and a banana after the medal.  (They had an option of pizza- but that made me gag right after running- 20 mins later it would have been awesome- but we couldn't get back in the tent afterwards).  I would recommend giving runners a bag to put their food in, I ran out of hands, but would have liked other stuff a bit later.
Overall, the Air Force Marathon was great.  They did such a great job with everything.  The water stations/aid stations were awesome, the volunteers were so enthusiastic.  I will definitely be running this again!

I couldn't have done it with out Carrie being there for me.  She was an awesome cheerleader and I know that she felt good and probably could have done much better without me, but she stuck by me.  Thanks, Carrie!  I owe you a good marathon! 
And of course, I could have never done the training with out my super patient husband who never says a thing, as I go out for a long run or train at the Rec center.  I also think he does a great job in race photography!  Love you sweetie.

So, there it is.  My 2nd marathon, but my first in 11 years.  It was painful, but I don't regret it, in fact, we've already signed up for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on Nov 3.  I hope not to repeat my performance!



3 comments:

  1. Hi Heather!
    Regarding your t-shirt: "You can't put in what God's left out" (Mussabini to Abrams) and
    "...but He's also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure". (Eric Liddell to his sister, Jennie).
    And, I still caught myself laughing when I read "fartlek".
    Regarding your mile 25: My experience began at mile 22 or 23. And no, I don't think I'll ever run another race where they have two races running such different paces merge.
    Great blog Heather! brings back memories.
    May you get all better and go on to train for a 3rd marathon :O)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Heather!
    Regarding your t-shirt: "You can't put in what God's left out" (Mussabini to Abrams) and
    "...but He's also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure". (Eric Liddell to his sister, Jennie).
    And, I still caught myself laughing when I read "fartlek".
    Regarding your mile 25: My experience began at mile 22 or 23. And no, I don't think I'll ever run another race where they have two races running such different paces merge.
    Great blog Heather! brings back memories.
    May you get all better and go on to train for a 3rd marathon :O)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ditto your experience with the half marathoners...I think either continuing the divide a little longer down the course, or signs and course assistance that states walkers this way, runners this way would have been helpful because I'm certain that some of the people who i zigged and zagged around were also full marathoners.

    ReplyDelete